OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning) is an award-winning, mentor-supported school improvement programme that addresses all the areas that schools must plan for if they want to strategically and sustainably improve the quality of their play opportunities. OPAL is the only programme of its kind that has been independently proven to sustainably improve the quality of play in British primary schools.
Its success comes from a series of interrelated actions undertaken with specialist support from an OPAL mentor. This embeds play into the school’s policies and practices and establishes clear guiding principles and strategies for initiating lasting changes at playtimes.
OPAL is based on the idea that, as well as learning through good teaching, your children also learn when they play. As 20% of their time in school is playtime, we want to make sure that this amount of time (equivalent to 1.4 years of primary school) is as good as possible.
One reason the school is carrying out this programme is that childhood has changed, and many children no longer get their play needs met out of school.
- Average screen time per day is six hours.
- Average outdoor play time per week is five hours.
- Percentage of UK children who only play outdoors with other children at school is 56%.
There are many proven benefits for schools that carry out the OPAL Primary Programme. They usually include: more enjoyment of school, less teaching time lost to disputes between children, fewer accidents and greatly improved behaviour.
The school will be supported by OPAL for 18 months and there will be an opportunity to come and talk to the OPAL mentor. If you would like to learn more about the OPAL Primary Programme, please have a look at the OPAL website.
Where you will find lots of useful information and several videos about the programme.